Friday, May 30, 2014

Howard Kurtz to Hillary Clinton: Press Mean To Women? Deal With It!

Via Digby (who gets the main problem with Kurtz's advice), Howard Kurtz had this to say:

My take is this: Let's say Hillary's people are right and that the press is petty, sensationalist, often unfair and sometimes mean to women? Deal with it. It's like complaining about bad weather. Every candidate has to cope with an adversarial media, and Democrats usually get a break at least on social issues.

Because I have such smart readers, I bet you can tell the flaw in that assertion already.  Yes, it's the fact that being "mean to women" is an aspect of this treatment which doesn't affect "every candidate" equally.  Only some candidates get attacked because of the demographic group they belong to.  That would mostly be women and minorities, and the total sum of all meanness aimed at a candidate is not constant. What that last bit means is this:  Someone who gets racist or sexist criticism will also get other types of mean criticism.

But the real flaw in the argument is in the reversal that it hides:  Should women deal with the fact that they are attacked when Hillary Clinton is attacked for her gender?  Because that's what those slurs effect.  They attack a whole gender as collateral damage for being "mean" to a politician.  They also reveal quite a bit about the values of the attacker, of course.